Friday, February 02, 2007

The truth about the Groote Sint Lucas is still a mystery

The Hollandsche Mercurius for 1653 and the Onstelde-Zee from 1654 indicate that Sipke Fockes commanded a ship named Groote Sint Lucas (28 guns) and that ship was captured by the English. I had always assumed that was a mistake and that he still commanded the Sint Maria and that was the ship captured. Sipke Fockes was killed on the first day of the Three Days Battle. The piece of information that threw the issue into doubt was that there are documents showing that the Sint Maria was in hand, after the battle, needing repairs. The Sint Maria does not appear to have served further, at least not with the Dutch fleet. We have seen no sign of any ship named Groote Sint Lucas in any document from late 1652 or early 1653. That is what still causes me to think that there was no Groote Sint Lucas. I don't know that I have seen an independent English source that lists the Dutch ships taken to Dover and Portsmouth during and after the Three Days Battle (as the Dutch called the Battle of Portland). If we could find such a source, that would sway my opinion. Either that or finding a mention of a Groote Sint Lucas in handwritten Dutch documents would finally resolve the issue to my mind.

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